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We went on several beautiful hikes on our trip to Vorarlberg in Austria. One in the idylic valley Kleinwalsertal and one in the moor landscapes of Krumbach. But our trip to the Montafon mountains was truly a stand out experience. The steepest snow-capped mountains, several seasons in the same day and an alternative way of descending from the mountain. Those were some of the things we experienced on our trip in the beautiful Montafon mountains.
Our trip starts in the small town of Vandans, where we take the Golmerbahn cable car to the upper station Grüneck. From here we have a two-hour hike to the cabin Lindauer Hütte where we will be spending the night. I have seen the cabin on photos and it is situated incredibly scenic and is one of the places I have been looking forward to see!
On the way up with the cable car, the weather is foggy and rainy and we just want to hurry to the cabin. We expect it to be a dull trip in the poor weather, but the mountain has something else planned for us!
After a short while in the Montafon mountains, the landscape looks like this!
Wild weather in the Montafon mountains
The moment we step out from the cable car station, it starts to snow! The landscape slowly turns completely white around us. A bit astonished we walk through the snow. Maybe I have been a naive tourist, but it never accured to me that it could snow in early September. But the altitude says 1890 meters and mountains can be so unpredictable! My summer hiking shoes soon get completely soaked – I obviously still have a lot to learn when it comes to outdoor gear!
The trail we are on is part of the 12 km long Gauertaler AlpkulTour trail. Fortunately the stretch between Grüneck station and Lindauer Hütte, does not change much in altitude, so there is no danger of falling off the edge. It is a family-friendly trail suited for most people – even with a little snow!
And it is a beautiful sight watching the snow fall between the pine trees. We gaze a while into the white haze and imagine the mighty view behind it that we are totally missing out on!
But when we finally reach the valley where the Lindauer Hütte is located, I quickly forget ALL about the missing view and my wet feet. We arrive in the most beautiful winter wonderland! The golden wooden building lying in the snowy landscape surrounded by tall pine trees and the majestic snow-covered peaks behind it all. What a sight!
Hooray! After two hours of hiking through the snow, we reach Lindauer Hütte, which is beautifully situated in the Montafon mountains
One of the very minimalistic bunk bed rooms
This was the view from our window!
We arrive at Lindauer Hütte
Lindauer Hütte is a large and well kept mountain lodge with great facilities. It is not quite a hotel as all rooms are simple bunk bed rooms with showers and toilets in the hallway. But not really a hostel either. You cannot cook your own food, but dine at the lovely restaurant instead. My wet shoes are quickly dried in the drying room in the basement and the restaurant serves hearty food and large beers in the best Austrian style!
Just before sunset I go outside again to catch the last light of the day. I am in luck and catch the last rays of sun hitting a snowy mountain peak and turns it into gold. What a sight! And with the little golden wooden house in the foreground, the color harmony is perfect. After sunset, the sky turns pink over the snowy mountains in the distance. What an amazing night in this fantastic mountain range!
In the evening there is plenty of food in the restaurant and cheerful people playing guitar and singing along until we all crawl into our beds after an eventful day.
The summer returns in the Montafon mountains
The next morning the sun is shining from a clear blue sky and the Montafon mountains show their best side! The guests wander out on the trails – perhaps on a day trip or maybe to another cabin nearby. We go back to the Gauertaler AlpkulTour trail but on a slightly different route than yesterday. Compared to yesterday it is a completely different experience! The snow quickly melts away, the trail is lush and green and the view we missed yesterday is magnificent. The landscape is complete with snow-covered peaks and alpine cows like an Austrian dream! The small houses on the mountain side are used by the farmers and make the finest foreground in my landscapes photos. We deviate from the route yesterday and take a trail that descends through the pine forest to a cable car station further down. On this stretch we spot a whole family of sweet marmoths, a rodent commonly found in the Vorarlberg mountains.
One last look at the valley before we head back – now with a beautiful blue sky
A totally different experience than yesterday!
Taking the cable car up the mountain is a brilliant way of starting a hike
A crazy trip down the mountain!
We reach the Matschwitz cable car station but only take it one stop to the next station Latschau. We have a fun and different plan on how to get down from the mountain again: We ride the roller coaster! The Alpine Coaster is 2.6 km long and consist of little seperate cars with space enough for one or two people. You can control the pace yourself using handles, but when the guide tells me I cannot drive too fast, I take it down as fast as I can and it is sooo much fun! Like riding a roller coaster in a theme park – just way longer and more beautiful! I race through the woods and around sharp corners with the staggering view below me. I needed both of my hands to control the car, so I could not record anything myself – but you can watch a fun video from the coaster right here
Montafon has been a wild experience and is simply the most beautiful mountain range I have ever seen! Austria has blown me away and I am so looking forward to experience even more of this charming country with the beautiful scenery in the future.
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*The trip was sponsored by Vorarlberg Tourismus as part of the campaign #inVorarlberg arranged by NordicTB. With me on this trip was Sofia from Fantasiresor.se, Otto Lilja and Janicke from the blog letsgetlost.no.